IDLES – ” Ultra Mono “

Posted: January 15, 2021 in ALBUMS, MUSIC
Tags: , , ,

Of all the new music I heard during the height of the initial lockdown. ‘Ultra Mono’ was an album that I was already extremely excited to hear; and the stream of songs released during Lockdown only served to raise that excitement to a fever pitch.

Thankfully IDLES didn’t disappoint and when the album arrived it was a pure masterpiece. It shows a natural progression on the bands first two records and grows the bands sound. It still captures what made us all fall in love with the band but by incorporating new elements into the bands sound the album shows that IDLES are no one trick pony.

Above all other releases this year and those that feature in this list, this was the album that we needed this year. In a year where we have all been knocked down one way or another, IDLES and ‘Ultra Mono’ has been a call to arms, to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves down and keep going.”

IDLES third LP, Ultra Mono, was released earlier this year to critical acclaim. The video for “Kill Them With Kindness” was directed and designed by James Carbutt and animated by Pip Williamson, inspired by the working men’s clubs of Barnsley. Brutal guitar work flips between Bowen and Kiernan on a Travis Bean and Esquire respectively, revealing again why they’re the two most important players in the UK today.

Another single from the Bristolian band’s acclaimed third LP on Partisan Records, it begins with a monstrous bass riff that twists around the snare drum, before bellowing into the chorus with pulsating, glistening guitars and the odd bit of ring-modulator thrown in for good measure.

 

The Bristol, U.K. punk outfit are releasing their third studio album Ultra Mono this last year. IDLES recorded Ultra Mono in Paris, working with producers Nick Launay (Nick Cave, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Arcade Fire), Adam “Atom” Greenspan (Anna Calvi, Cut Copy) and Kenny Beats (FKA Twigs, DeBaby, Vince Staples). Per a press release, “‘Ultra Mono’ was sonically constructed to capture the feeling of a hip-hop record.” The album also features guest vocals from Jehnny Beth (Savages), and contributions from Warren Ellis (Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds), David Yow and Jamie Cullum.

In 2020 there were certainties: third IDLES album, third time among the best fifty of the year. On Ultra Mono we hear a sharper and smoother IDLES than before. A band that takes steps to keep developing its sound, which takes a hip-hop producer under its arm, once worked its crown with the cracks and moments later comes across songs like “Grounds” or “Reigns”. The British are going to be wonderfully retamful about this drive for innovation and the ability to remain fully IDLES. (Post)punk has its heyday again, and part of the answer to the question shines on the chest of the Bristol fivesome.  Ultra Mono also includes a lot of discs that live on a swirling, roaring mass, while a band has the mob on a raise.

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